kurdish city

Referendums get a bad press – but to fix Britain, we need more of them | George Monbiot
Participatory rather than representative democracy would allow us more say in how we run the country, says Guardian columnist George Monbiot
By George Monbiot

A lively and intelligent politics demands an active and empowered electorate that can hold its representatives constantly to account. 

George Monbiot, linking with his suggestion to reforge the economic order into one that was more just and environmentally adaptive, looks to how counter the problems in representative democracy by a evolution into a more participatory democracy, stating we need more referendums or direct democracy than less. While noting the EU referendum was not the best sales pitch he does note the faults in that referendum (especilly in how narrow the binary was set) and focuses on three potential models we could adopt: the Swiss model, the type used in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavík and the Kurdish system. In the end George Monbiot invites us all to make forth our democratic needs.

The flag will rise again.

Yesterday, Iraqi forces invaded the kurdish city of kirkuk with 200 tanks, because thats how you respond to an independence referendum.

They evicted people, killed people, pulled down our flags and burned them, stomped on them, even shot at them. Imagine a flag being able to cause that much hatred and anger, someone despising your very existence that much. At the same time, imagine your own flag being pulled from its masts and replaced with a foreign one, and being told that is what you are loyal to now. Forget your langage, culture, and centuries of heritage your people might have. Kurds do not exist. You are not valid.

State officials fled and left people to die. Kurdish soldiers fought until they ran out of bullets and were forced to surrender. What good is an AK against a tank? The rest of our army was in Syria liberating Raqqa from ISIS. Whilst one city was freed, another was imprisoned.

As we watched with horror and disbelief, we thought surely someone would do something. We helped recapture mosul, hawija and now raqqa. Time and time again, Kurdish sodiers put thier lives on the line in the name of liberty, surely that warrants respect and support from someone. Apparently not.

The Kurdish flag will fly again in Kirkuk. We don’t know when, but it will. And when it does, it will symbolise a people that have existed for over 1000 years, that have developed a culture, language, food and music entirely unique to the middle east, that have fought and will fight for the freedom of people not just in kurdistan but across the world.

We survived the ottomans. We survived Saddam. We sirvived ISIS. We will survive this, because we exist. Kurds exist. We are not iraq. We are not Turkey. We are not Iran. We are not Syria.



Kirkuk is and will remain a Kurdish city. Since the founding of Iraq, all governments in Baghdad have tried to change the demography of the city. Despite all Arab settlements and Anfal genocide, Kirkuk has mostly remained Kurdish. If Arabic and Turkic tribes don’t accept the Ala Rengin flag and mostly Kurdish population, it would be better to settle in Iraq again. In Kurdistan, all people are treated equally, regardless of confessional and ethnic origin, under the Kurdish flag!

A woman looks out from a damaged building after a blast in the Kurdish-dominated city of Amed (Diyarbakir). A car bomb reportedly killed one person and wounded around 30 others in the city. The attack followed the arrests of 11 MPs from the Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP), whose base is largely drawn from Kurds, as well as leftists and progressives throughout the country. 
Sertac Kayar/Reuters

Yazidi survivors freed after three years of enslavement by Isis

Dozens of members of the persecuted Yazidi religious minority group who had been enslaved by Isis have been freed, the United Nations has said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that 36 women and children who had been captured were being reunited with family members after reaching Dohuk, a Kurdish city north of Mosul, in Iraq.

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The humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, said the UN was going to do “everything possible” for the rescued people who were being given lodging, clothing and medical aid.

“What these women and girls have endured is unimaginable,” she said.

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The UN would not specify if the Yazidis, who had been enslaved for three years, had escaped or been freed as it did not want to hinder future release efforts.

The UN has accused Isis of committing genocide against the Yazidis and estimate that up to 1,500 women and girls are still being held. The Yazidis’ beliefs combine elements from several Middle Eastern religions and Isis considers them devil-worshippers.

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They were enslaved and killed after the jihadists seized the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar in 2014.

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has called on Iraq to allow a UN investigation into the crimes against Yazidi women.

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28 Years ago former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein used Chemical-Weapon against Kurdish nation in the Kurdish city of Halabja in South Kurdistan. March 16, 1988 the day of sadness, the day of broken hearts,… the day of Chemical attack on civilian kurds by former dictator Saddam’s regime, the day of KURDISH Genocide. HALABJA will not be forgotten.

Massacre over 5000 Kurds in less than 30 minutes by Chemical weapon is violation of human rights. according to Article 2 of the Convention, defines genocide as; any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

(1) Killing members of the group;
(2) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(3) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(4) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
(5) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

People in Kurdistan particularity resident of Halabja after 27 year they will never forget the tragedy that befell the Kurdish city in 1988. They say the world shouldn’t forget, either.

Yet massacre and genocide against the Kurdish nation still continue. In one side ISIS terrorists attacked on Kurdish Yezidi around Shangal and massacred many Kurds. Yet many Kurdish children who were kidnapped are still being held by Islamic State and they are continue to be the victims of atrocity crimes. In addition 1000s Yazidis murdered, executed, or died from starvation and many young Kurdish Yezidi girls used and traded by ISIS terrorist as sex slaves. ISIS also attacked Rojava and massacred many Kurds and destroyed many Kurdish cities and towns. In other hand Turkish military committed another genocide against the Kurds in populated Kurdish area in north Kurdistan. Indeed Turkey and ISIS are allies against the Kurds and new waves of ethnic cleansing against Kurds is accelerated. Iranian regime also committed massacre and war crime against kurds. Indeed the dangerous of ethnic cleansing is not gone however it is essential that all the Kurdish political parties and organization united against the national threat.

In addition, chemical attacks on the Kurdish city of HALABJA (by former Iraqi dictators) were committed with the intent to destroy the Kurdish population within “Iraqi territory” or in other word intend to ethnic cleansing in Kurdistan . Therefore Kurdish genocide need international demand. Recognition of Genocide against the Kurds in Iraq is essential and cannot be ignored and will not be forgotten.

Di Şexsîyeta Şehîdên Helepçe û Enfalan da, Em Hemî Şehîdên Kurdistanê Bi Rêz û Hurmet Bîrtînin, Rejîmên Kujer û Dakirkerên Kurdistanê Bi Tundî Şermezar Dikin.

Em Helebçe Ji Bîr Nakin

The Balıkçı family won’t be celebrating Easter anymore–or anything else, for that matter. Under a grey sky, his collar raised against the wind and gaze fixed on the waves crashing against the docks, Garabet Balıkçı chain-smokes mechanically. In his free hand he holds a small bouquet of white flowers. On this Easter Sunday, when Istanbul Armenians are celebrating the resurrection of Christ around a family meal and children are painting Easter eggs, Garabet is crossing the Bosphorus to lay flowers on the grave of his son in the Şişli Armenian Cemetery.

Facing the headstone is a small stool made of the same marble. “They put this stool her so I could sit and talk to him,” Garabet says sadly. “But I no longer hear his voice. He’s dead.” His handsome son won’t ever be coming home. Every Sunday, his father visits his grave, replaces the wilted flowers, burns a little incense, and sits for a few minutes to speak to his son, murdered one year ago, on the Thursday before Easter.

Sevag Şahin Balıkçı, born on 1 April 1986, died on 24 April 2011. “Every Armenian knows what that means,” says a family friend, who has come with his wife and children to pay his respects. April 24th is the anniversary of the beginning of the 1915 genocide. On that day, hundreds of Armenians of Armenian leaders and intellectuals–doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians–were arrested, held at Sultanahmet prison, and then deported to Anatolia from the Haydarpaşa train station. The Armenians of Turkey have long commemorated that date in silence, but the Balıkçı family is no longer holding their tongues. “They said that, with Hrant Dink, there were 1.5 million + 1 victims. Now, with my son, there are 1.5 million + 2,” says Ani [Balıkçı], still reeling from this double blow. …

On the morning of 24 April, the commander of the Kozluk army barracks [in Batman province] assigned part of the garrison to repair the fence surrounding it. Every spring when the snow melts, military operations and ambushes by PKK rebels resume in full force, and the region is on high alert. Military posts are sometimes attacked, so it was time to beef up security around the barracks, adding a few rolls of razor wire. Half a dozen soldiers, including Sevag, [who was doing his compulsory military service], were happy to grab picks and shovels and spend a few hours working in the fresh air. An armed soldier stood guard: Kıvanç Ağaoğlu. Suddenly, a shot was fired. The bullet tore through Sevag’s T-shirt, hitting him in the abdomen. He died instantly. …

Immediately following the young soldier’s death, the army set to work promoting the theory that it had been an accident. Before the inquiry was even finished, its conclusions were known. “A delegation of officers came to the house to explain that it was an accident and that in reality, Sevag and Kıvanç had been friends,” says Garabet. But the family did not believe it. One week later, the army invited them to visit the fateful spot where their son had died, to tour the Kozluk barracks, and to grieve. Ani and Garabet Balıkçı flew to Diyarbakir and were taken by helicopter to the army base. There, they visited the scene of the crime, were welcomed by the officers, and were even introduced to the soldiers who had witnessed Sevag’s death. “Kıvanç Ağaoğlu was walking around, free as a bird and still armed, as if nothing had happened,” says Ani, disgusted. He told them that “the rifle had gone off by itself while he was returning it to position.” They also met the six young conscripts who had been present on the day of the shooting. “One of them was trembling,” recalls Ani. “I went up to him quietly and asked what was wrong.” Visibly upset, the young man told her that he was the one who had taken Sevag’s body to the hospital, where he had been declared clinically dead. And, above all, that there had been nothing accidental about the shooting. He told her that Kıvanç had deliberately taken aim and shot Sevag.

 But the young soldier would change his story by the time of his first court appearance. For a trial was indeed held at Diyarbakir Military Court to investigate the circumstances surrounding Sevag’s death and determine whether or not it had been an accident. Every one of the hearings held in the large Kurdish city, all attended by Sevag’s parents and his older sister, Lena, was a nightmare for the family. The killer was still free and able to look them in the eye. Over and over again, he claimed that the shooting had been accidental. “It wasn’t an accident,” whispers Garabet, shaking his head. Ani adds, “it was obviously related to the date, April 24th. I told the court that. His friends knew Sevag was Armenian. He even made the traditional Easter pastry–that came out during the trial.” She sighs. “My son was killed because he was Armenian. He was chosen to be sacrificed. All I want is for this to be recognized as a hate crime and for the murderer to spend twenty years in prison.

—  “Sevag Balıkçı: 1,500,000 + 2,” from Turkey and the Armenian Ghost: On the Trail of the Genocide, by Laure Marchand and Guillaume Perrier

Late last week, ISIS fighters attacked a Kurdish city in northern Syria, after seizing 21 nearby villages in a major assault. The attack on the city of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish, drove hundreds of thousands of residents to flee, most heading to the nearby border with Turkey. The Associated Press is reporting that more than 150,000 Syrian Kurds have entered Turkey since the border was opened to refugees on September 19, and the United Nations warns that number could soon climb as high as 400,000.


Photographer: Görkem Keser

Kobane Protest Taksim / İstanbul

Past three weeks a kurdish city in north Syria;Kobane was under ISIS siege. After the news that ISIS militans enter the city and clashes came to downtown, hundreds of people exit to the streets in Turkey’s big cities and protest goverment.Taksim 08.10.14.